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Scientists built a drone with a robotic origami claw that can pick things up

By Michael Tabb

Who says origami has to be about paper?

Researchers at Seoul National University have built a foldable robotic arm that attaches to the bottom of a drone, operated remotely via a wireless controller. The arm can hold a variety of things—a gripper that whisks objects into the sky, for example, or a camera that’s able to film narrow or hard-to-reach spaces.

Origami-inspired designs have been used before. But for a lightweight, foldable structure, this one is impressively strong. That’s thanks to magnets which lock the arm in place.

Watch the video above to see how it works, and how the technology can be used for applications far beyond drone grippers.